Designing Schools

Every city, every village is flocked with buildings/spaces for their different purposes. Amongst the many, a school is a must. Even the most simple of villages will have a space, even if it is under a tree, for a school. The student-teacher relationship has dated back centuries. It is considered by many a holy place where the future of the children and the world is shaped. The space where knowledge passes from one generation to the other, thus becomes an important one. Learn more about the Education Timeline.

The trend in school design these days is “Interactive Design”. The space that houses the school should help engage the students, teachers and visitors alike. The architecture and interior design becomes successful when it becomes a part of the teaching syllabus. This is a contrast to the traditional classroom style teaching which is prevalent in all schools around the world. Research shows that children can learn better by ‘doing’ than by ‘listening’. IDEO gives us 10 tips for creating a 21st century classroom experience.

So, how can designers help engage the occupants with the building in a positive manner? This question can be answered if designers engage in a dialogue with the educators and children. It will really help if the designers understand the syllabus and try to bring about a change in the teaching style. For example if students were to learn about solar energy, they should be able to walk up to the roof which has solar panels. Other concepts like rainwater harvesting, nurseries, glass house, wind/water too can be incorporated in the design of the school itself. It also helps integrate nature into children’s daily lives which will help ward away Biophilia which is common amongst children today. It will help them experience the concepts before getting an explanation on it. The Children and Nature Network encourages and supports the people and organizations working to reconnect children with nature.

The environment of the school should be bright and positive. It should be an atmosphere where children can engage with one another. Social interaction is as important as knowledge, and hence it is necessary that gathering spaces within the school are well designed and are numerous in number with varying sizes.

Children are our future. What we shall give them today, we shall get tomorrow. It is our duty, being in any profession, to give the best to children without expecting immediate gains. We have to think about new solutions for the future, and for that we have to understand human needs, values and desires.

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